Thesaurus

prying

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of prying

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 interested in what is not one's own business
  • as we moved into our new home, we could sense that there were prying eyes watching us

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2 thrusting oneself where one is not welcome or invited
  • prying neighbors who refuse to mind their own business

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prying

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of prying (Entry 2 of 4)

prying

verb (1)
present participle of pry

Synonyms & Antonyms of prying (Entry 3 of 4)

1 to raise, move, or pull apart with or as if with a lever
  • it took some effort to pry up the trap door

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2 to draw out by force or with effort
  • a vain attempt to pry the cork out of a wine bottle

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prying

verb (2)
present participle of pry

Synonyms & Antonyms of prying (Entry 4 of 4)

to interest oneself in what is not one's concern
  • don't go prying into other people's business

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Frequently Asked Questions About prying

How does the adjective prying contrast with its synonyms?

The words curious and inquisitive are common synonyms of prying. While all three words mean "interested in what is not one's personal or proper concern," prying implies busy meddling and officiousness.

prying neighbors who refuse to mind their own business

When is it sensible to use curious instead of prying?

While in some cases nearly identical to prying, curious, a neutral term, basically connotes an active desire to learn or to know.

children are curious about everything

When is inquisitive a more appropriate choice than prying?

The words inquisitive and prying are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, inquisitive suggests impertinent and habitual curiosity and persistent quizzing.

dreaded the visits of their inquisitive relatives

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Time Traveler for prying

Time Traveler

The first known use of prying was in 1552

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prying.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/prying. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on prying

Dictionary: Definition of prying

Nglish: Translation of prying for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prying for Arabic Speakers

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